We recently discussed a weight-loss advocate who was taken off Facebook for potential hate speech in criticizing a plus-sized clothing ad campaign. Now, Marilyn McKenna of Washington State says that a similar thing happened to her. McKenna posted an image to show how much weight she lost (over 100 pounds) only to have Facebook reportedly inform her that the picture was inappropriate for promoting “idealized physical appearances.”
McKenna says that the photo above was removed by Facebook.
She says that she was just proud of what is clearly an amazing level of weight loss. However, Facebook later told media that the photo was rejected because McKenna had paid to “boost” the picture, which would help it to reach a larger audience. That made it an advertisement and that “Facebook’s terms require advertisers of weight loss and other adult products to limit the audience of their ads to people aged 18 and over.”
I am confused. Why does it make it an advertisement if she was not selling anything. Moreover, how is she supposed to limit it by age group? Presumably, plenty of people boost their Facebook sites. While I understand the problems associated with a “never too thin” culture for young girls particularly, this raises core free speech issues for me. Putting aside the fact that McKenna seemed to simply want to share an amazing personal accomplishment, she should have free speech protections in addressing more controversial aspects of this subject. This concern was heightened a couple years ago when England moved to be “fatism” a form of hate speech.
She does not have to look far for a pro bono lawyer. She is married to former Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna.